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If it's April, that means the House's budgetary process has sputtered to its conclusion, leaving us with a variety of votes on competing budget proposals that lets us take a closer look at the fissures within each party's caucus. For instance, last year's votes were particularly revealing, in that there were clear divisions within the GOP caucus over both the GOP-on-steroids Republican Study Committee budget, and over the continuing resolution that had it not passed would have resulted in a government shutdown. (That gave us our first real look, before any of the aggregators could weigh in, at the newly elected GOP class of '10, to help us see which of them were moderates, which were establishment foot soldiers, and which were off-the-reservation tea partiers, whom we at DKE took to calling the 'dystopians.')

There isn't as remarkable a distinction in the budget votes this year, and, at any rate, we've gotten much more familiar with the GOP freshmen and their intra-party allegiances. There are still a lot of interesting defections, though, so let's look at them budget-by-budget:

First, there's the GOP establishment's Ryan budget, which was the only budget to actually pass, 228-191. While Dems were unanimous against it, 10 GOPers also voted against. You might assume that it would be a list of the most moderate and/or fearful about re-election, but it really isn't:

Chris Gibson (NY), David McKinley (WV), Denny Rehberg (MT), Ed Whitfield (KY), Joe Barton (TX), Jimmy Duncan (TN), Justin Amash (MI), Tim Huelskamp (KS), Todd Platts (PA), Walter Jones (NC)
The only moderates here are Jones, the retiring Platts, and the freshman Gibson; Gibson does double-duty as the only GOPer here facing a tough fight in November (though Justin Amash's race may heat up). Rehberg probably also refused to walk the plank, given his tight Senate race in Montana (and that he also voted against the Ryan budget last year, probably for the same reason). Instead, we have some of the dystopian caucus voting against it, presumably for it not going far enough (Amash, a reliable "no" vote on just about anything, plus the strongly Club for Growth-oriented Huelskamp, and Duncan, an occasionally Ron Paul ally). Speaking of Paul, he was one of the three GOP non-voters, along with Paul Broun, another potential no vote from the right, and Connie Mack, who's not only busy on the Florida Senate campaign trail but probably also desperately wanted to avoid taking a stand one way or the other.

The main competing alternative from the Democratic leadership was the Van Hollen budget. This failed 262 to 163, with 22 Dems joining the Republicans.

John Barrow (GA), Dan Boren (OK), Ben Chandler (KY), Jim Cooper (TN), Jim Costa (CA), Peter DeFazio (OR), Joe Donnelly (IN), Gene Green (TX), James Himes (CT), Kathleen Hochul (NY), Ron Kind (WI), Larry Kissell (NC), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Daniel Lipinski (IL), David Loebsack (IA), Jim Matheson (UT), Mike McIntyre (NC), Collin Peterson (MN), Mike Ross (AR), Kurt Schrader (OR), Heath Shuler (NC), Peter Visclosky (IN)
As you can see, most of the "no" votes were from the core Blue Dogs, many of whom are either retiring (Boren, Ross, Shuler) or are highly vulnerable (Barrow, Chandler, McIntyre), as well as a few other Dems who aren't Blue Dog members but on the right flank of the Dem caucus and facing trouble in November (Hochul, Kissell). There were also a few purity votes from the left (Kucinich, naturally, and perhaps De Fazio as well, though he's become irascible enough lately it's hard to tell what angle he's coming from; Loebsack, though a member of the Progressive Caucus, is probably the least progressive Progressive and may be a vote against from the right), and a couple surprises from ambitious New Dems (Himes, Kind).

More over the fold...

The more rigorous Republican alternative to the Ryan plan (yes, there actually was one, believe it or not) was the RSC (or Garrett budget). This was actually a bridge too far even for the GOP leadership, who sided against it. It was defeated 285 to 136, but that was with 104 Republicans voting "no" (and no Dems voting yes).

You can click through to see the full list of the hardest of the hardcore Republicans, but what's more interesting here may be who flipped since the last RSC budget last year. You may remember that last year the Democrats pulled some shenanigans by voting 'present' instead of 'no' on the RSC budget, as a means of forcing more Republicans to go on record as supporting the ultra-draconian budget. This led to some last-minute vote corraling and switching by GOP leadership to keep the RSC budget from passing too. (In a way, this represents progress for the dead-enders, because they actually got a majority of the Republicans to express their true id and vote for their budget this year, though of course not a majority of the House.) So, we have two different pools here; first, the Republicans who switched from "no" on the RSC budget last year to "yes" this year.

Sam Graves (MO), Thaddeus McCotter (MI), Tim Murphy (PA), Steve Pearce (NM), Joseph Pitts (PA), James Sensenbrenner (WI), Mike Simpson (ID), Fred Upton (MI), Charles Boustany (LA), Louis Gohmert (TX), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA), Bill Shuster (PA), Lynn Jenkins (KS), Thomas Rooney (FL), Glenn Thompson (PA), Tim Griffin (AR), Scott Tipton (CO), Cory Gardner (CO), Sandy Adams (FL), David Rivera (FL), Randy Hultgren (IL), Larry Bucshon (IN), Kevin Yoder (KS), Renee Ellmers (NC), Tim Scott (SC), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Diane Black (TN), Stephen Fincher (TN), Blake Farenthold (TX)
This list runs the gamut from the leadership (McMorris Rodgers) to the freshmen (14, by my count), and from the moderate (Upton) to the looney-tunes (Gohmert). If there's a common thread, it appears to be that these were the ones who were willing to be good soldiers the first time around, in exchange for some leadership chits to be cashed in later, and were free to vote their conscience (or lack thereof) on this year's vote once it was clear that the Dems weren't going to do the "present" vote again.

And here's the list of Republicans who flipped the other direction, from voting 'yes' on the RSC budget last year to 'no' this year. I'm really not sure what happened with them, since none of them, with the exception of Jeff Denham, appear to be any sort of vulnerable going in to November. Maybe there were line items that they disapproved of this time that weren't present last time (it's worth noting that if you look at aggregators' scores, this group of Republicans are mostly ones who fall right in the boring middle of the caucus, neither moderates nor tea-bagging deadenders... though there are a few right-wing exceptions, like Miller and Smith). Or, maybe they just got tired of us calling them the 'dystopians.'

Spencer Bachus (AL), Ken Calvert (CA), John Carter (TX), Jimmy Duncan (TN), Elton Gallegly (CA), Kay Granger (TX), Jeff Miller (FL), Lee Terry (NE), Adrian Smith (NE), Jeff Denham (CA), Steve Southerland (FL), Mike Kelly (PA)
Dave Reichert was a non-vote on the old RSC budget but is now a "no;" on the other hand, Connie Mack, formerly a "yes," is now a non-vote.

Finally, there was a Democratic alternative to the alternative, the Honda budget (from the Progressive Caucus). This failed 346 to 78, with even a majority of Dems against it (107 "no" votes from Dems). Here are the 78 "yes" votes:

Rob Andrews (NJ)*, Karen Bass (CA), Xavier Becerra (CA), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Robert Brady (PA), Corrine Brown (CA), Michael Capuano (MA), Andre Carson (IN), Judy Chu (CA), Hansen Clarke (MI) *, Yvette Clarke (NY), William Clay (MO), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), Jim Clyburn (SC) *, Steve Cohen (TN), John Conyers (MI), Elijah Cummings (MD), Danny Davis (IL), Ted Deutch (FL) *, Mike Doyle (PA) *, Donna Edwards (MD), Keith Ellison (MN), Sam Farr (CA), Chaka Fattah (PA), Barney Frank (MA), Marcia Fudge (OH), Al Green (TX) *, Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Janice Hahn (CA), Alcee Hastings (FL), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Mazie Hirono (HI), Rush Holt (NJ), Mike Honda (CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Hank Johnson (GA), Eddie Johnson (TX), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Dale Kildee (MI) *, Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Zoe Lofgren (CA) *, Ed Markey (MA), Betty McCollum (MN) *, Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Brad Miller (NC) *, Gwen Moore (WI), Jim Moran (VA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), Grace Napolitano (CA) *, John Olver (MA), Frank Pallone (NJ), Bill Pascrell (NJ) *, Ed Pastor (AZ), Chellie Pingree (ME), David Price (NC) *, Laura Richardson (CA), Steven Rothman (NJ) *, Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), Bobby Rush (IL), Timothy Ryan (OH) *, Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), David Scott (GA) *, Jose Serrano (NY), Louise Slaughter (NY), Pete Stark (CA), Paul Tonko (NY) *, Nydia Velazquez (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Mel Watt (NC), Henry Waxman (CA), Peter Welch (VT), Frederica Wilson (FL), Lynn Woolsey (CA)
The votes are pretty much in line with membership in the Progressive Caucus; in fact, rather than asterisk the CPC members, I've asterisked the non-members. Not a lot of CPC members voted no (I see Tammy Baldwin, who may be making some nods toward the middle amidst her Wisconsin Senate run, Rosa DeLauro, Peter De Fazio, David Loebsack, Ben Ray Lujan, Jared Polis, John Tierney, and Benny Thompson).

A few other interesting observations: a stiff Dem primary does seem to force its participants to the left. Not only do we have NJ-09's Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell voting 'yes' (after voting 'no' on last year's Progressive budget, and neither of them are CPC members), but same with CA-44's Janice Hahn and Laura Richardson... and even in the completed/averted primaries too (Kucinich and Kaptur, and David Price/Brad Miller in North Carolina). Also noteworthy: the Scott who's voting "yes" isn't who you'd probably think it is (Virginia's usually progressive Bobby Scott); instead, it's Georgia's David Scott, one of only two African-American Blue Dogs. (I'm wondering if he took notice of our rattling his cage on his poor voting record for his increasingly-dark-blue district?)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very interesting. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Nir, ArkDem14, Englishlefty

    I looked at the Ryan Budget's 10 Nay votes before; came to much the same conclusion. Jones and Platts? They're both highly vulnerable to bouts of sanity, and Jones is a highly popular incumbent (may get primaried at one point though) and Platts probably can get away with breaking from leadership slightly more now he's not got to worry about another term. Gibson? It's probably political posturing, although I wouldn't be surprised if he actually was opposed to it as an individual, and he's been able to get permission to vote against it. Whitfield is weird; he SOMETIMES (very rarely) breaks from conservative orthodoxy, and as he was a "no" on the RSC budget, I'm GUESSING that means he voted against it from the left. McKinley is also probably voting against it from the left.

    Rehberg? Almost definitely a clever political move. If he came even close to touching that budget, this race would go from a tossup to a lean/likely D just like that; it'd make some EXTREMELY effective ads. And the only effective counter the GOP have came up with to those ads? "PolitiFact thinks they're not exactly 100% true, so yeah!" Amash and Duncan? Sometimes their Paul-esque style of politics translates into sanity, this is one of those times. Huelskamp and Barton, like Amash and Duncan, supported the RSC budget the first time around; those four as a whole are definitely attacking it from the right. Well, maybe not Duncan. I dunno what he's thinking.

    British guy with a big interest in US politics; -3.50, -3.18. Overheard at CPAC: A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

    by General Goose on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:56:20 PM PDT

  •  hmm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xenocrypt, David Nir, ArkDem14

    On GOP switchers: Upton has a primary challenger who is getting Club for Growth money. On the other side, Terry's district went for Obama and Southerland faces a threat from Leonard Bembry.

    On Dems who voted against Van Hollen's budget: Boren, Cooper, Costa, Himes, Kind, Lipinski, Peterson, Schrader, Shuler, and Visclosky all voted for the Bowles-Simpson alternative budget, which got a total of 38 votes (22 from Dems). Gibson and Platts also voted for that.

    http://clerk.house.gov/...

    SSP poster. 42, CA-5, -0.25/-3.90

    by sacman701 on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:57:00 PM PDT

    •  That's interesting... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gabjoh

      so... Boren, Cooper, Costa, Himes, Kind, Lipinski, Peterson, Schrader, Shuler, and Visclosky voted for Bowles-Simpson.

      Kucinich voted for the Honda budget.

      Barrow, Chandler, Cooper, Costa, DeFazio, Donnelly, Hochul, Kind, Kissell, Lipinski, Koebsack, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson, Ross, and Shuler voted for the BBA.

      That accounts for all of the Democratic votes against the Van Hollen budget--except Gene Green's.  

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another Dem voting no... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabjoh

    Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), a member of the CPC (as well as my rep), voted against the Honda budget.  I guess Wall Street connections might explain her vote, as well as DeLauro's.

    •  Does DeLauro have notable Wall Street connections? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SouthernLiberalinMD

      I think it's more likely that she doesn't vote for such things because she's a member of the caucus leadership.  When I compare DeLauro's voting record to Barbara Lee's, the differences seem more evident on foreign policy than on anything else (except other things that, again, someone in leadership might feel obligated to vote for, like appropriations bills).

      26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

      by Xenocrypt on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:16:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think Janice Hahn is "forced to the left" (3+ / 0-)

    I think she's just liberal, as are Kucinich, Kaptur, Price, and Miller.  Rather, I think it's more likely that primaries between incumbent Democrats will tend to be between fairly liberal ones.  

    Still, thanks for spotlighting this--I'd noticed these votes myself.  Frankly, I'm not too surprised with fairly conservative budgetary votes from Himes.  As for Hochul and Kind, both were among the Democrats who voted for a Balanced Budget Amendment:

    Democrats Voting 'Aye'

    Rep. Jason Altmire [D, PA-4]
    Rep. John Barrow [D, GA-12]
    Rep. Sanford Bishop [D, GA-2]
    Rep. Dan Boren [D, OK-2]
    Rep. Leonard Boswell [D, IA-3]
    Rep. Dennis Cardoza [D, CA-18]
    Rep. Ben Chandler [D, KY-6]
    Rep. Jim Cooper [D, TN-5]
    Rep. Jim Costa [D, CA-20]
    Rep. Jerry Costello [D, IL-12]
    Rep. Henry Cuellar [D, TX-28]
    Rep. Peter DeFazio [D, OR-4]
    Rep. Joe Donnelly [D, IN-2]
    Rep. Kathleen Hochul [D, NY-26]
    Rep. Tim Holden [D, PA-17]
    Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]
    Rep. Ronald Kind [D, WI-3]
    Rep. Larry Kissell [D, NC-8]
    Rep. Daniel Lipinski [D, IL-3]
    Rep. David Loebsack [D, IA-2]
    Rep. Jim Matheson [D, UT-2]
    Rep. Mike McIntyre [D, NC-7]
    Rep. Collin Peterson [D, MN-7]
    Rep. Mike Ross [D, AR-4]
    Rep. Heath Shuler [D, NC-11]

    A fair amount of overlap here with the Democrats who voted against the Van Hollen plan: Barrow, Chandler, Cooper, Costa, DeFazio, Donnelly, Hochul, Kind, Kissell, Lipinski, Koebsack, Matheson, McIntyre, Peterson, Ross, and Shuler are on both lists.

    Altmire...there's someone who might be forced a bit to the left by a primary!

    26, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-14 (formerly PA-02/NY-12).

    by Xenocrypt on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:11:55 PM PDT

  •  more Republican evil... (0+ / 0-)

    Recently, House Republicans FORCED a vote on Obama's ENTIRE budget - with NO debate - malaciously attaching it as an AMENDMENT to an unrelated bill.
    Obviously, Democrats would not vote for an entire budget without debate and the bill "failed" - 414-0 --- so that Fox & Frightwing radio could mock Obama by claiming his budget "failed" - even Democrats "rejected" it.

    Senate Republicans pulled the same EVIL stunt last year with Obama's budget, released in February - resulting in a vote of 97-0......

    May 2011....As far as the Obama plan, Democrats had already stated they wouldn't be voting for it, arguing that President Obama himself had superseded the plan with the deficit-reduction plan that he outlined during his April speech at George Washington University.
    http://beta.news.yahoo.com/...

    Republicans have the 1% vote locked up.

    by MartyM on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 05:39:58 AM PDT

  •  interesting post, and about the image (0+ / 0-)

    That, incidentally, is the first photograph taken of the Capitol.  The photographer was John Plumbe, Jr., who was known as the American Daguerre.  He also made engraved and lithographic images of his own photographs, like this one of Martin Van Buren (1848):

    Photobucket
    (National Portait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution)

    Economic Left/Right: -6.00, Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.31 All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:00:15 AM PDT

  •  Could Someone Please Explain (0+ / 0-)

    Why so-called Democrats and President Obama vote against and/or ignore the Progressive Caucuses' "Budget for All?"

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Wed Apr 04, 2012 at 06:10:56 AM PDT

  •  Budgets (0+ / 0-)

    We have seen a Republican budget, and we have seen an Obama proposal. Have House Democrats actually managed to line up behind a budget bill? Is there such a bill being actively discussed?

  •  Grrrrr..... (0+ / 0-)

    The "Budget" is being used as a generic term here and the lack of precision does nothing to help this conversation.

    The President's Budget is a detailed accounting of spending against the prior year's appropriation, the current year's appropriation and a request for next year's appropriations.  It is mandated by the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921.

    The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 established the standing House and Senate Committees on the Budget and required them to do a non-binding budget resolution to set a framework and limitations on appropriation bills.

    So, you cannot compare "The Ryan Budget" or "The Honda Budget" or any other budget resolution or proposals to the President's Budget request.  You can only really compare appropriation bills.

    The budget resolution is a blueprint.  The President's Budget is not a blueprint.  Therefore, any up or down vote on the President's Budget without an appopriations process would cut out the appropriations committees, possibly be unconstitutional and would be pretty meaningless.

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